Hitting the chocolate factory

Bringing A Classic To The Stage — Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

When you were a kid do you remember those Dairy Queen ads with the chocolate river and mountains?

Did you dream about being able to hop into that ad?

This month, I have been able to design my own chocolate river; in fact I have been able to design the whole factory.

Tonight, my theatre company New Vintage Theatre kicks off the holiday season with Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

As the director, I have a huge responsibility. Not only do I have to be faithful to the original but I also have to incorporate family fun, friendly elements into the play that make it a favourite with young and old. 

My process started with finding the actors to take on these challenging roles.

Last March, I pulled together a dream team of talents who have proven to be every bit as great in rehearsal as they were in their auditions.

Of special note is Charlie, played by Dr. Knox Grade 9 student Ethan Landygo, who is just brilliant as the humble hero who loves chocolate, but is never greedy and always kind.

Many audiences will also adore Graham Daley as Willy Wonka as well as returning New Vintage favourites Josie Morrow, Blake Wilkins, Kirsti Hack and Aly Rothery.

We also have a new Kelowna resident, seasoned actor Peter Church who has starred in many roles in his long career as a professional actor. 

What a cast!

My unique production also features many magical, fantastic elements including the famed Old Trout Puppet Workshop puppets along with a spectacular set designed, painted and built by my talented husband, Derek.

I also always love to include interactive components so this time there will be a golden ticket contest at each show and a post-show candy room where kids will be able to explore and meet the cast.

The planning at this very busy, very cold time of year might seem onerous, but happy kids are always worth it. We have sold out all of our student matinees and some of our Sunday matinees are pretty close to being sold out, too. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs Dec.6-19 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $15-$25  and are available at www.rotarycentreforthearts.com or at the RCA Box Office. 

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Bonnie on Stage articles

About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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